I have been talking about golf brands that are getting social media marketing. True Temper, one of the world's leading shaft manufacturers, is using social media to effectively interact with and educate their customers. The company and brand have been able to create advocates and conversation among passionate golf fans. It's exciting to see how the brand is using important assets, R&D and the PGA Tour, to deliver compelling content and build customer relationships and loyalty. It will be rewarding to see the evolution of the company’s strategies in 2010. I talked to Lauren Carr in True Temper marketing about their social media strategies.
1. What are your current social media strategies?
We have established a foothold in social media over the last year by being active on Facebook and Twitter and segmented those sites by brands. We have been able to use social media to attract people to our E-newsletters, so we have a nice connection between social media and our other marketing efforts that is continuing to grow for us. We feel like we're establishing a great of loyalists because they decide to opt into news and information about True Temper brands as a result of our social media efforts.
2. How did you decide to develop social media strategies?
We have two important strategies with social media marketing: interaction and education. Education is the core of our marketing strategy from print to PR to brochures, so we evaluate all of our social media on that criteria. We have found that social media marketing is a very easy, efficient and powerful way to interact and to educate people on shafts, custom fitting, equipment and golf in general.
3. What social media marketing strategy has been particularly beneficial to your business goals?
It is especially beneficial in new product rollouts where we have been able to get product information through all channels and directly into the hands of the consumer. We are seeing through interaction with sites like golfwrx.com and Thehackersparadise.com that there is a gradual and powerful buzz building. Golfers want to feel educated, so they are seeking out the latest product information through social media outlets. We are also building great advocates and evangelists for the True Temper brand through those outlets. This has worked particularly well as we partnered with golfwrx.com on a contest, offering players the opportunity to win our new Project X graphite shaft customized with their name. They then went on to post comments on shafts in forums, discussions, Facebook and Twitter. This really helped to get a dialogue going and create conversation amongst our fans.
4. What has surprised you about your social media marketing strategies and successes?
We knew that golfers were passionate but you see that in a whole different way in social media. They are not just golf consumers but golf experts that have incredible passion, expertise and brand loyalty. You also see a depth and a breadth of this knowledge and insight. We find a lot of people who want to share a lot about their own great games, so we are planning to roll out a "what's in your bag" section for those golfers on our Facebook pages. They really love to talk about where they play and how they play. You really have a sense of community among these golfers.
5. How are you measuring success?
We're fine-tuning how we measure. We do it in the traditional way with the newsletters and click- throughs and views on particular pages. With Facebook and Twitter, we’re using followers and fans and participation levels as quantitative measurements, but we’re also interested in more than just the numbers. We care as much about interaction as we do about followers, so we're reviewing this interaction and following them anecdotally. And one of our measurement formulas is looking at crossover between channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and the golf forums. We value the synergy and integration between those channels and think it is an important part of a successful marketing campaign.
6. What are your new strategies for the year ahead?
We will be improving our current strategies. What we really want to do is leverage our assets more and get more departments involved. We have a strong R&D team with some of the best technology expertise in the industry. These are the guys who know what's happening and what's going on we want more interaction with them and our customers. We're especially excited to include our PGA Tour team who can really tell the great “behind the scenes” stories on what players are trying, which shafts are succeeding and other performance issues. Their great personalities will allow us to have great interaction with our fans. We would also like to see a lot more video up on YouTube to talk about not only our products but about the golf industry.
7. What's your best formula for succeeding at social media strategies?
You can't do it all. You have to focus on what's the best fit based on your customers and what's realistic. You also have to look at what you can maintain at a high quality with your social media team. And whatever you do, social media marketing must match business strategies. You can't just jump in and do anything and everything, especially when it doesn't make sense for your brand and organization.
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